Question?: Autism Signs In 15 Month Old

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Lizzie asks…

Why is my 15 month old not speaking, walking or gesturing?

I’m worried. My 15 month old daughter was 6 weeks premature and has been slow to do other milestones, such as smiling and crawling, and she caught up with those eventually. However, while she babbles and says dadada all day and the occasional mama, I can’t coax her to say anything else. She also wont point to things when asked and rarely waves bye bye. I see she is intelligent. She’ll watch me do something once and mimic it. Yet I tried and tried to teach her sign language and she didn’t go for it. Could she not be speaking, walking or gesturing because I want her to and am trying to encourage her to? I’m wondering if she’s responding to the attention I give her while I try to encourage her. She gets tons of attention all day anyway. I’m a stay at home and I read to her and speak to her all day long. I’m scared for her. What do you think?

admin answers:

At your 18 month check up the doctor will ask you questions about your daughter’s development. I would make a list of things that you are concerned about and take them with you. You do have to remember that because she was a premie – she still probably hasn’t “caught up”.

I think what you’re wanting to know is what the milestones are for speech. By 18 months, your daughter should be able to say 9 words at a minimum. Your dr will count things such as uh huh or mmmmmm… An average 18 month old will say 20-30 words.

If you don’t want to wait for your 18 month check, call your dr and ask him for a referral to the early intervention program in your state. The state will come in and do an assessment free of charge in your home. Early intervention is the key if it is something more than just a speech delay.

Trust your instincts. If you think something is up, it does not hurt to follow those instincts. You are definitely watching for the right things!

Don’t be scared for her. Regardless, she has a loving family and the love that you have for her is not going to change for anything.

I just read the message about autism… It is too early to go down that path… Don’t freak yourself out like I did with doing research. Start looking into early intervention… They are the professionals… Not the idiots who come on here and start freaking mothers out about things that your children may or may not have.

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